Doll Review - Makes / 3D Printed Doll
A fairly new toy company based right here in London, Makies Dolls are printed using 3D technology, and you design them yourself on their website - you're able to adjust their facial features using sliders (much like on many RPG and in SIMS games, where you can customize the face of your character to personalize the gameplay experience.) Mike and I are both really intrigued by 3D print technology, and are planning to invest in our own one day (think of all the doll shoes and accessories I could create!) so we were eager to find out a bit more. They're quite quirky and have unusual faces, and are of an entirely different aesthetic I am used to in the doll world. However, after seeing a few that were customized by artists to look much sweeter and softer, I was sold. We visited their in-store event at Selfridges, sat down and slid those little sliders around, and put in our order. I've heard of some people spending weeks to months perfecting the design of a doll before they get it printed, however I finished mine in record time - listen to your instincts!
The Makies team is still a very small company, and there was more feedback, help and communication instantly available on their website forum than any other doll company or artist I've dealt with so far. All questions asked on their facebook page, forum and blogs are answered speedily, even after hours and on weekends. As a consumer wringing your hands in anticipation for your doll, this was pleasantly surprising and very refreshing.
My Makie took just under two weeks to be printed and posted. Record time compared to the months I've waited for most BJD. Their price (69GBP) is also favourable to the price of other BJD and Blythe. They arrive in a cardboard tube, with a certificate of authenticity registering their unique printing code - your doll is truly a unique little character, designed by you.
They look a bit alien when they arrive all blank, but it's up to you to imagine them transformed with a good face-up. Something I found very interesting was how the doll felt - compared to a resin BJD, porcelain art-doll or even the plastic of a Blythe... the Makie doll reminded me of the texture of an eggshell. In Hungary I painted on very sturdy thick goose-eggs, and it reminded me of that. I really liked the surface for blushing, even with coatings of MSC and Clear Gesso, it still felt closer to the absorbent texture of drawing on paper rather than slippery plastic. I preferred this personally.
Here is the blog-post with a brief visual documentation of my blank Makie undergoing her beauty treatment.
I am really happy with how she turned out. She is only the second doll I have customized, and even though it did take an entire day, laboriously layering pastels and watercolours over hours and hours...it was worth it :-)
So in conclusion - I highly recommend ordering your own Makie as a wonderful doll to customize. The feature of designing your own face online to create a completely one-off doll is a fantastic feature. The company is fabulous and helpful, I love that they're made right here in London and not a factory in China. The price is very favourable if you're used to spending close to half a grand on a BJD or even several hundred dollars for a Blythe. I think clothing them will be difficult if you're not a seamstress yourself, as the options on the website are limited. However, with their growing popularity I'm sure more people will begin offering custom-made garments to fit them - I certainly will be releasing a special line designed just for Makies in my Etsy Shop shortly!